Dell Announces RIGHTSLEEVE as Winner of 2009 SMB Award

Recognized for its Innovative Use of Technology to Better Serve Customers 

  • Differentiates Itself Through Technology-enabled Services in the Traditional Promotional Products Industry  
  • Dell today announced RIGHTSLEEVE as the Canadian national winner of the Dell Small Business Excellence Award.1 RIGHTSLEEVE will receive $25,000 in Dell products and services and a day of best- practice sharing with Dell experts, including time with Chairman and CEO Michael Dell.

    Based in Toronto, Ontario, RIGHTSLEEVE develops promotional products for leading corporations across North America. Through its global supply chain, RIGHTSLEEVE offers a wide range of custom-branded merchandise including apparel and promotional products to corporate and retail clients.

    RIGHTSLEEVE was established in 2000 when founder and president, Mark Graham, launched a promotional design company that immediately differentiated itself by infusing technology into its day-to-day operations.  “In an industry that is traditionally driven by age-old direct sales methods, RIGHTSLEEVE has catapulted its business dramatically by continually developing and implementing smart technology solutions,” said Graham. “Technology is the very backbone of our operations, enabling deeper engagement with clients, real-time feedback mechanisms, and fast and efficient delivery of products and services.”

    Since its inception, RIGHTSLEEVE has focused on breaking away from the conventional methods synonymous with the promotional products industry. Technology enabled RIGHTSLEEVE to establish a robust business model that is dynamic, scalable, collaborative and profitable – attributes that set it apart from thousands of other suppliers in the promotional products industry in Canada. Its use of technology and web tools has allowed it to become an industry leader through efficient collaboration between suppliers, employees and customers.

    “In this industry, there is only so much you can do to make your product or service stand out among the many brochures and catalogues clients receive everyday. At RIGHTSLEEVE, we believe that the real differentiator is the experience we can deliver to our clients,” said Graham. “We are delighted to be recognized by the Dell Small Business Excellence Awards and will continue to leverage innovative technology solutions to grow our business.”

    The right technology solutions have enabled RIGHTSLEEVE to deliver a unique experience that its clients value –

    • Robust web presence – RIGHTSLEEVE has replaced traditional printed supplier catalogues with a robust website (www.rightsleeve.com) that provides its customers with an enhanced browsing experience with helpful product reviews and ratings. The website also captures rich data on browsing patterns and client activities which offer valuable business insights. Moreover, RIGHTSLEEVE’s web presence has allowed the company to expand its business and serve clients across North America.
    • Enhanced customer experience – Through feedback generated by its intelligent web based customer and vendor relationship system, RIGHTSLEEVE recognized that it had two distinct set of customers – Corporate and Retail– with distinct needs. Hence, it developed two separate web stores catering to each customer segment offering customized services.
    • Cost of goods sold reduced by 10 per cent – Vendors extend better pricing terms to RIGHTSLEEVE because of its automated purchase order system which relieves the workload of their customer service personnel. In addition, RIGHTSLEEVE’s ability to manage its global supply chain and source cost-effectively has enabled the company to pass savings along to customers, all the while remaining profitable.
    • Empowered employees – Leveraging technology, RIGHTSLEEVE has transformed itself into a data rich environment where decisions are made based on metrics that are updated in real time. RIGHTSLEEVE built an internal newsfeed system that documents transactions and client-facing activity done by staff members. This enables informed decision making, as well as an immediate response when customers post an online request or complaint. Moreover, detailed real-time reporting provides greater insight into individual and company performance. This has allowed for better goal-setting and accountability, which in turn increases sales performance and reduces turn-over.
    • Scalable infrastructure – Scalability of the technology system has allowed RIGHTSLEEVE to double the company staff within the last 12 months. Moreover, the technology infrastructure enables every employee to achieve more with less resources and the overall productivity per staff member has increased by 25 per cent. The new-hire on-boarding process has been vastly simplified as all product and pricing information is in one central place as opposed to being scattered throughout hundreds of catalogues.

    It was this strong focus on hands-on customer service and employee engagement that set RIGHTSLEEVE apart from the other applicants for the 2009 Dell Small Business Excellence Award.

    “RIGHTSLEEVE is a shining example of a company that operates in a traditional and conventional industry but has leveraged technology to completely transform its business and differentiate itself from its competitors,” said Kevin Peesker, vice president and general manager, Small and Medium Business, Dell Canada. “We congratulate RIGHTSLEEVE on being selected as this year’s winner of the Dell Small Business Excellence Awards and also applaud all the other small businesses that participated.”

    Canadian winner RIGHTSLEEVE joins national winners from 12 other countries – US, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom – for a chance to win the global Dell Small Business Excellence Award worth $50,000 in Dell technology and services and participation in a global entrepreneurs’ summit. National winners are being announced now, and the global winner will be announced later in 2009.

    To learn more about RIGHTSLEEVE and its technology strategy for success visit www.dell.ca/ceaward

    About Dell

    As the visionary outcome of a true entrepreneur, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is committed to helping small and medium businesses solve their technology challenges, ease business pain points and draw greater value from IT.